Caroline

carlineknapp_morelliIn case you can’t tell from recent posts, I’m in my Caroline Knapp phase.  Caroline died 11 years ago, at age 42, of lung cancer …. and as was written in the Boston Phoenix, you can’t help but recognize Caroline on the page:  Whether she was writing about politics, feminism, or the perilous state of modern relationships, the tone was unmistakably her own. Reserved in person, she was ruthlessly self-revelatory at the keyboard. The common denominator of her private and public selves was her wry sense of humor.

I’ve been whining for a week that I can’t find a good book since finishing Justin St. Germain’s SON OF A GUN, and yet here comes Caroline Knapp.  Again.  Just as PACK OF TWO was not simply about dogs, DRINKING: A LOVE STORY is not just about drinking.  As obvious as this sounds, we all know it’s not at all obvious, that there will be so many who won’t discover Caroline’s art because they don’t drink too much or don’t obsess over their dog.  And that would be a shame.

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14 thoughts on “Caroline

  1. joplingirl

    Terri—if you like Knapp don’t miss reading Gail Calwell’s memoir–“Let’s take the long way home” Beautiful in its remembrance of an amazing friendship.

    1. joplingirl

      The book was touching and important to me and i think it may be for you too because Callwell and Knapp walked their dogs together. A very intimate experience.

  2. jpon

    This is sort of a comment about this post and the last one, but since comments were closed there, I’ll do it here. Annie’s passing reminded me of another reference, an article I read in The Atlantic a couple of years ago, which made the case that dog behavior was essentially a trick of genetics, that dogs had evolved to display the kind of behavior that made humans sympathetic towards them, and that a dog has no more attachment to its human family than it does to a wild pack of dogs. But those of us who live with dogs know better. We know that not everything can be explained in terms of genetics or physics, and that just because we can’t explain the connection between us and our pets doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s in the way Henry knows I’m opening a package of crackers even when he’s outside. It’s in his stupid smile when I let him steal a toy from my grasp and chase him around the couch.

    If they want something scientific, then it’s a case of the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Our essence and their essence combine to make a bond much greater than master and pet, and in that relationship we get to realize something about the human capacity for platonic love.

    Henry asks to pass along his condolences…

    1. Averil Dean

      What Joe said.

      And your post is a good reminder for me to be open to unusual subject matter. There are so many avenues into another person’s mind; the point is to love what you find when you get there.

      1. Lyra

        “…the point is to love what you find when you get there.” Oh Averil, love.

        And Teri, I have had that book on my list forever and then it keeps getting pushed down. I have to move it to the top. (And FYI, both sympathy cards are in the mail. Thank you for the push, because the words are never right, but at least they’ll know I’m thinking of them.)
        And you. And Annie Belle. Love.

      2. Teri Post author

        I’m also not good at reading unusual subject matter. There are so many books out there that it’s easy to stay in the comfort zone and still never read them all. Caroline’s story as universal as they come.

    2. Teri Post author

      One of the best books I’ve ever read about the dog/human connection is Mark Doty’s DOG YEARS — as you say, Joe, just because we can’t explain it scientifically doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I know that Annie and I were communicating, that we could tell what each other was thinking, and I think we both knew that her last day was her last day from the minute we woke up.

  3. Sherry Stanfa-Stanley

    Damn you, Teri. The last thing I need is another book to add to my TBR pile, but this one is headed there now.

    I know I already expressed my condolences on Facebook, but am sending more hugs now. I know hugs don’t do the loss justice, but it’s all I can offer, my friend.

    1. Teri Post author

      Of course I still have 2 big labs, and who could imagine that a house with 2 labs (no longer 3) would be so quiet….

  4. girl in the hat

    I agree with Sherry. Now I have to read her book. Because you said so and because she was “reserved in person [but] was ruthlessly self-revelatory at the keyboard” which is how I am.
    I just went to my annual reunion with a group of old girlfriends (some I’ve known since preschool) and driving back, I realized that you could probably fit all the words I said on one sheet of paper, and that since those women don’t read my blog, they have no idea. (Why is it so easy to write and so hard to talk?)

    1. Teri Post author

      It’s hard to get words in with a big group of people, and there are always some chatty ones who are happy to do all the talking. As much as I love a conversation, groups are hard. I’m so much more comfortable with a pen and a piece of paper.

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